Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Tomb of Saint Gregory the Great

Here's a few new photos which I took on my pilgrimage a year ago. Pope Saint Gregory the Great holds a place in my heart, not just because I am a Benedictine Novice Oblate and he was a Benedictine monk, but also because of the Masses I have heard at his altar in Saint Peter's. Pope Saint Gregory the Great's relics are in an altar very near the sacristy of Saint Peter's.

An interesting thing, if you ever visit Rome, is that if you can go to Saint Peter's right when the doors open in the early morning, you can attend a Mass of any number of the priests who say Mass at any of the side altars. What is nice about these Masses is that they are practically a private Mass. Usually, it is just the priest and the altar boy, however, the altar boy will sort of ask you if you are going to receive Communion [quizzical looks and a nodding of the head work well in spite of the language barrier, LOL], and give the priest an extra host at the offertory if you are. Anyway, the Mass, although a simple, low Novus Ordo Mass, is very beautiful and reverent if you get a good priest (as I did).

Since I had a devotion to Pope Saint Gregory the Great, I made it a point everyday I was in Rome, to get up early and go to the Mass at his altar.

Providentially, the priest who regularly said Mass at that altar spoke English. But it gets even better. Usually, the the priests say Mass in Italian. However, the second day I went, when the priest came to the altar and saw me again, he went up to the altar, took the Italian Missal, went over to the little cabinet next to the altar, put the Italian Missal in, and pulled a Latin Roman Missal out!

At that point, I was on a spiritual high. And the rest of my pilgrimage he used the Latin Roman Missal when he saw me. I made it a point to thank him, and he told me that since I was obviously not Italian, he figured I would have an easier time with the Latin. Indeed it was true. Being obedient to Vatican II, I know in Latin the parts of the Mass which pertain to me.*

I also love Pope Saint Gregory the Great because of his "Dialogues" which is the best source of information on the life of Saint Benedict, and which gave me information about some other Saints whom I love, Sant'Eutizio, San Fiorenzo, and San Spes.

His name is also attached to the chant of the Roman Rite (Gregorian Chant).

Sancte Gregori, ora pro nobis.

*Sacrosanctum Concilium
"36. 1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites."
"54. "... steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them. "


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